The Use of Deming’s “PDSA” Cycle in Quality Improvement at Lehigh Valley Hospital

1. Introduction

In this paper, a complex analysis of the incorporation of Deming's "PDSA" cycle in the improvement procedure in the Lehigh Valley hospital will be addressed. The first step will be to provide a brief overview of Deming's ideas and theories that led to the development of the "PDSA" cycle. Secondly, the main characteristics of the "PDSA" cycle will be described in more detail. Thirdly, the paper will analyze how the "PDSA" cycle has been implemented in the Lehigh Valley Hospital and what benefits it has brought to the organization. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn.

2. The Deming “PDSA” Cycle

The Deming “PDSA” Cycle is an iterative quality improvement method developed by Edwards Deming. It is also known as the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) or Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. The main purpose of the PDSA cycle is to allow organizations to test changes in their processes and systems in a controlled and safe manner before fully implementing them.

The PDSA cycle consists of four steps:

1) Plan: In this step, you need to identify the problem that you want to solve and develop a plan for testing the change.

2) Do: In this step, you need to implement the change in a small scale test environment.

3) Check: In this step, you need to analyze the results of the test and see if the change has actually improved the process or not.

4) Act: In this step, you need to decide whether to keep the change or go back to the previous state based on the results of the check stage.

It is important to note that each iteration of PDSA can be considered as a mini-experiment. This means that you should not expect all your changes to be successful at first try. The goal is to learn from your failures and eventually find a change that works best for your organization.

3. Analysis of the Use of “PDSA” Cycle in Lehigh Valley Hospital

Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH) is a 1,100 bed non-profit hospital located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of LVHN, one of America’s largest integrated healthcare delivery networks which also includes Pocono Medical Center and Hazleton General Hospital.
LVHN has been using PDSA cycles for quality improvement since 1998. One of their most notable projects was reducing door-to-balloon time for ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients from an average of 90 minutes to under 60 minutes.
Other examples of successful implementations of PDSA at LVHN include:
– Reducing central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) by 50%
– Decreasing ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) rates by 84%
– Decreasing surgical site infections (SSIs) following colorectal surgery by 67%
Overall, the use of PDSA has helped LVHN to improve the quality of care for their patients and reduce the cost of care.


The "PDSA" cycle is a quality improvement tool that can be used to test changes in a process.

The "PDSA" cycle has been implemented at Lehigh Valley Hospital in order to test changes in the hospital's processes.

The results of using the "PDSA" cycle at Lehigh Valley Hospital have been positive, with the hospital seeing improvements in its processes.

Lessons that can be learned from Lehigh Valley Hospital's experience with the "PDSA" cycle include the importance of testing changes before implementing them, and the need to monitor results after making changes to ensure that they are effective.